PACKAGE: The Tata Steel facility at Dalzell
A number of key employees at Indian steel giant Tata Steel’s two Scottish plants on the verge of closure will be retained on 60 per cent of their salary as part of a new £195,000 government support package, the Scottish government announced last Saturday (2).
Britain’s biggest steelmaker had announced last year that Dalzell and Clydebridge plants in Lanarkshire region would be mothballed, resulting in 270 job losses.
The company had blamed the closure on a flood of cheap imports from China, a strong pound and high electricity costs.
Scotland’s business minister Fergus Ewing announced the package, saying the government’s move was a positive development in the quest to save some of those jobs and secure a future for Scottish steel.
Besides receiving 60 per cent of their gross salary, the retained staff will also recei-ve training to ensure the plants could reopen quickly should production resume. The number of what it termed as ‘key’ staff was, however, not specified.
“It is critical for any new commercial operator intending on restarting production at Dalzell and Clydebridge to be able to get the mothballed plants quickly up and running again after a long period of inactivity.
“So we have agreed to work with the existing management and trade unions to retain and develop the nucleus of a manufacturing team,” Ewing said.
“That will be attractive to prospective buyers who seek the knowledge and insight to maximise the productive capability of the sites.”